Being the “New Guy”: Life as the Newest Member of H&HME
Firse of all, let us clarify a few things: yes, it is true that drummer Slade Anderson joined the outfit after singer, trumpeteer Jimmy “Gentleman” Hadley. And, yes, Hadley is about to embark on his fifth tour with the band. Nevertheless, the band continues to insist that Jimmy is still “The New Guy.” So how does this work?
Lester explains, “It’s a matter of points. If you were an accountant and you got hired by a new firm, you would expect them to acknowledge your years of experience when negotiating a salary. In the same way, frontmen - or in the case of Gentleman Jimmy, Second Bananas - are a lot easier to find than a good drummer.”
To be fair, Jimmy comes with plenty of experience, fronting Col. Jimmy and The Blackfish, recording two albums with that band. But, as Lester argues, “that just gives him ‘jackass’ credibility. I’ve got that. Axl Rose has that. No one really credits frontmen for doing anything special.”
Drummers, however, are a curious lot and are due a certain amount of circumspection as well. “No one will argue that Slade doesn’t have skeletons in his closet. But, jeez, he has to carry the most gear…and our stupid asses,” Lester points out.
Lester goes on to tout the skill that Slade possesses and the expertises he brings to the organization. “H&HME fines its members for wrong notes. With ‘The Theme to The Emancipated Head’ back in the set, Possum and I are usually out $10 or $12 a night. Jimmy, on the other hand, owes the band roughly $320. The rest of us have to borrow money from Slade just to buy coffee.”
When asked to respond, Gentleman Jimmy raised a fist to the sky and said, “I keep telling them that Slade is a drummer! He doesn’t actually play notes!”
With a sigh, Jimmy added, “At least I finally learned the band handshake.”